Tom Gould: My name is Tom Gould. I'm a photographer and director based in New York City. I always wanted to do something on the Lo Lifes to document the culture. The book is called Bury Me With the Lo On.
Lo Lifes were from Brooklyn, basically a crew of shoplifters known for stealing, boosting different items, paraphernalia, clothes, whatever people would get their hands on in those days. They had this common goal boosting what they loved: Ralph Lauren Polo.
When Polo really came out in the late 80s on the streets of New York, it had something different and something that appealed to them. It was the color blocking; it was the big logos, the big script, the big lettering that they saw, from the different patches on the arms to the symbols to the crests to the silks. It was flashy. It symbolized wealth.
Lo Lifes definitely wore Polo in their own style. They would wear layers from head to toe from their underwear to the outerwear, they would be wearing Polo Everything had to match--the same lines, the same season. From the hats to the socks, everything was Polo.
It had this allure to it. It was something that represented the American dream, something that these kids from Brownsville from Crown Heights--they couldn't afford. How special it was for someone to put their freedom on the line just to acquire a piece of clothing. I think there's a beauty in that.